‘A Fair of Fragile Limbs’ takes us through the graphite world of nostalgia

Published August 23, 2021, 9:00 AM

by S.C. Fojas

GNCH’s fair has come to town

HEAD EIGHT, graphite on paper, 2021

Gen Lazaro or GNCH has always been fascinated by the carnival. These joys felt at the fair across all nations by all ages and all walks of life is the centerpiece of his latest and first solo exhibit “A Fair of Fragile Limbs” at the Village Art Gallery.

“If I could trigger their nostalgia of having to go and experience a fair or a carnival, it’s all I wanted for them to feel. The exhibition is about introducing my style and characters into the local fine art scene. Since it’s my first solo exhibition. I wanted to show no specific theme. I thought it would be a good story arc for my journey as an artist—like in a movie plot, nothing for now then gradually going crazy with ideas later. I came up with the title because of how seemingly delicate and fragile my characters are and when you group them all up in one scene, you get a small, fair of fragile limbs,” he says.

Like a master showman, GNCH fills the world with his troupe of monochromatic entertainers willed with vibrancy and characters. With his whimsical creatures, each viewer will surely enjoy the show.

“My style is a mix of 1920s animations like the Fleischer studios and Rubber hose animations, but I don’t fully use their style, just a hint of it. I chose graphite for this exhibition to commemorate my struggles as an artist back when the only medium I could afford was pencil or graphite,” GNCH says.

A piece from the exhibit, Sunflower for a Smile, is a collection of nostalgia. “It makes me feel sad and happy at the same time,” the artists muses. The piece reminds you of your childhood, the games you would play, the fairs you would visit, the birthday parties with a giant mascot and balloons, and the sound of children’s laughter from your friends. At the same time, they convey the message of how far you’ve grown while carrying the wonderful memories with you—that as adults, we have become a fair of fragile limbs.

‘I chose graphite for this exhibition to commemorate my struggles as an artist back when the only medium I could afford was pencil or graphite.’

“Some artworks reflect the opposite of my life, my mood, what I have, what I feel that can only be depicted through art. Like baking and designing a cake, I first sketch the main subject/s, then from there, I figure out what smaller character to put, how many, and where. The process takes a lot of back and forth on each character on where they would go, what they’re doing and holding. Sometimes, if I don’t like the scene, I would just scrap the whole thing and start over again. Rendering is only a matter of time but figuring out the ideas can go on forever,” he says.


And when the art piece is finally finished, it will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. And if this art has made you felt something, according to GNCH, these feelings are what makes art essential.

“If art in any way, shape, or form made you feel different, think differently, if it shifted your mood, made you comment on something, uplifted you, changed your mind, broke your heart and bone, if it made you cry, hate, or if it moved you, and if it made you smile, then those feelings make it essential. Art is the essence of change. Nobody wants to be stuck in one aspect of anything in their lives,” GNCH says.

Village Art Gallery is located at Alabang Town Center. For inquiries and visiting appointments, contact the gallery via 63 917 886 7459 or [email protected]